MARION -- Ryan Trokey swung at a high pitch and smacked it into the outfield to score Austin Palmer and give the Marion High School baseball team a 2-1 eight-inning win over Herrin on Monday at the Crisp Sports Complex.
The game between Williamson County rivals was a pitcher's duel between Marion's Mitchell Jackson and Herrin's Cameron Damico, who went the distance but took the loss.
Damico was one pitch away from sending the contest to a ninth inning.
Palmer led off the eighth by reaching on an error, then Mason Gooch dropped a sacrifice bunt and Christian Burgrabe worked a full-count walk.
Jake Welch hit a fly ball to left fielder Maddox Yates for the second out, leaving Palmer at second base. But after Trokey had two strikes, he ripped a high fastball to bring in Palmer for the walk off win.
It was Trokey's second walk off hit recently after also plating the winning run against Belleville Althoff.
"That's another big hit," said Marion coach Marty Manfredo. "I was proud of him because he went the other way with it. He pulled a couple and hit them hard, so they went away with him and he stayed with it."
Marion's first run came in the third inning after Gooch reached on an error and scored on a double by Drake Gravatt.
Herrin tied it in the fifth when Dylan Cripps hit a two-out single, moved up when Hunter McRoy walked and scored on a hit by Nick Hunter.
Matt Warren also doubled against Jackson in the sixth and Jace Hahs singled in the seventh but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Jackson was lifted in the seventh after throwing 106 pitches. The senior right-hander struck out seven, including the side in the fourth inning, and gave up just four hits.
Cavan Cameron relieved in the seventh and got a strikeout, then pitched a perfect eighth to snag the statistical win.
"Our pitching has been really good and it has carried us and did again today," Manfredo said. "We got a great effort from Mitchell and then Cavan came in and shut the door on them."
Herrin dropped to 10-16 with its second loss to Marion, while the Wildcats moved to 17-6 and snapped a three-game losing skid that included heartbreaking, low-scoring losses to Carbondale and Mt. Vernon, along with getting no-hit and shut out by Harrisburg.
"When you don't hit for a few games, everybody starts pressing," Manfredo said. "We're taking pitches we should swing at and swinging at pitches we should take."
Marion has games against Centralia and Salem before entering the postseason at the Centralia Class 3A Regional against either the host Orphans or Salem on May 22, before Mt. Vernon plays Olney Richland County in the other semifinal.
Herrin plays in the Carterville 3A Regional against Carbondale on May 23, with Carterville taking on either Massac County or Murphysboro in the other semifinal.